GLOSSARY

To find out more about bioplastics

Glossary

BIO-BASED/BIOPRODUCT

Biologically based It refers to products that partly or wholly contain constituents derived from biomass, i.e. non-fossil biological substances.

BIOCHEMICAL

Any chemical compound that is part of the composition of a living organism or derived from substances present in living organisms.

BIODEGRADABILITY

Ability of an organic substance to be transformed into simpler substances by the activity of microorganisms (biodegradation). If the biodegration process is complete, the original organic substance will be fully converted into simple, inorganic molecules: water, carbon dioxide, methane and new biomass.

BIODIGESTER

A plant for the energy recovery of the organic fraction of domestic and industrial waste through the process of biomethanation of organic matter by anaerobic microorganisms leading to the formation of biogas.

BIOECONOMY

A type of economy that uses biological resources from the land and sea as inputs for energy, industrial (materials), food and feed production.

BIOGENIC EMISSIONS

Emissions that originate from natural processes and are therefore not among the climate balance altering factors caused directly by man: they must therefore be differentiated from direct CO2 emissions of fossil origin.

BIOPLASTICS

Biodegradable and/or bio-based plastic.

BLOWN FILM

In polymer technology, it is a process used to obtain less thick films (15÷500 µm). These films are used, for example, to produce packaging, bags, or films for greenhouses and mulching.

BYPRODUCT

Sub-product. A by-product of the industrial production of other products, economically less important than these. A substance or object resulting from a production process that does not have as a primary purpose the production of that item, may not be considered waste, but a by-product only if all the following conditions are met (Article 184/bis of Legislative Decree no. 152/2006): a) it is certain that the substance or object will be used again; b) the substance or object can be used directly without any further treatment other than normal industrial practice; c) the substance or object is produced as an integral part of a production process; d) the further use is lawful, i.e. the substance or object fulfils, for the specific use, all the relevant requirements concerning products and the protection of health and the environment and will not lead to overall negative impacts on the environment or human health.

BIOREFINERY

An industrial activity that applies appropriate conversion technologies to biomass to transform it partly into fuel and partly into products such as food, materials, chemicals for the polymer industry, for cosmetics or for pharmaceutical industry, etc.

CATERING

Large-scale preparation and delivery of complete meals for communities (e.g. company canteens, schools, hospitals, prisons, etc.).

CIRCULAR ECONOMY

A model in which all activities, starting from extraction and production, are organised to use renewable resources or recycled materials, creating a system in which products maintain their function for as long as possible while minimising waste.

CO2e – CO2 EQUIVALENT

Standard reference used to measure the impact of greenhouse gases on global warming (Global Warming Potential – GWP). The contribution of each gas is normalised to the contribution of one CO2 molecule, used as the unit of measurement.

COMPOST

The result of the bio-oxidation and humification of a mixture of organic matter (e.g. pruning residues, kitchen waste, garden waste such as leaves and mown grass) by macro- and micro-organisms in the presence of oxygen. Compost is used as a soil nutrient in agriculture.

COMPOSTABILITY

The ability of biodegradable, organic matter (i.e. plant cuttings, kitchen scraps, gardening waste, some types of bioplastics, etc.) to be turned into compost in composting plants.

COMPOSTING

Controlled biological decomposition, in the presence of oxygen, of organic waste from which a humus-rich material called compost is formed. Composting involves a thermophilic phase and takes place on an industrial scale in special plants.

CSR - CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

CSR corresponds to the organisation’s responsibility for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment through ethical and transparent behaviour.

DOMESTIC COMPOSTING

Small-scale composting process operated by individuals for gardening purposes with the aim of producing compost for personal use from garden waste and occasionally kitchen waste.

EXTRUSION

Plastic deformation procedure, aimed at producing parts with a constant cross-section such as rigid or semi-rigid containers.

FORMULATION

See ‘Grade’

GMO - GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM

Organism, other than a human being, whose genetic material has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/ or natural genetic recombination (source: Directive 2001/18/EC)

GO - GUARANTEE OF ORIGIN

Electronic certification attesting to the renewable origin of the sources used to produce electricity. For each MWh of renewable electricity fed into the grid by qualified plants, the GSE (Electricity provider) issues a GO certification, in accordance with Directive 2009/28/EC.

GRADE

Referring to Mater-Bi, it indicates a specific type of material identified by a specific chemical composition and a unique product code. The trademark Mater-Bi® therefore denotes a set of material families consisting of different grades.

LARGE SCALE RETAIL TRADE

It represents the evolution of trade from retail to wholesale. It is made up of large structures or large groups (in some cases multinationals) with many facilities spread throughout the country, internationally or even worldwide.

LCA - LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT

Objective process of assessing the energy and environmental loads in relation to a process or activity, carried out by identifying the energy and materials used and the waste released into the environment. The assessment includes the entire life cycle of the process/ activity/product, including extraction and processing of raw materials, manufacturing, transport, distribution, use, reuse, recycling and final disposal.

LCT - LIFE CYCLE THINKING

An approach with which the environmental, economic and social sustainability of products, services, technologies and systems is analysed, considering all phases of the life cycle (extraction of raw materials, production, use, distribution and end of life).

MARGINAL LANDS

Land on the farm not used for agricultural purposes, unproductive for economic, social or other reasons, located in areas with natural handicaps, in mountain areas or other areas but which could be used for agricultural purposes by means normally available to the farm. They are usually referred to by different terms: unused, degraded, underused, uncultivated, desolate and abandoned. Fallow land is excluded (land included in the crop rotation system but temporarily uncultivated, whether worked or not, and not providing any harvest for the duration of the crop year).

MATERIALITY ANALYSIS

Process aimed at identifying and prioritising material aspects (synonym: relevance analysis).

MATERIAL TOPIC

Significant (or relevant) aspect that reflects the organisation’s significant economic, environmental and social impacts and that can substantially influence stakeholders’ assessments and decisions.

MONOMER

A chemical molecule with a low molecular mass with functional groups capable of reacting with itself or with other chemicals to form macromolecules, called polymer chains of a certain length, with a certain molecular weight distribution, which together we call polymers. For example, ‘styrene’ is the monomer of ‘polystyrene’. Azelaic acid is one of the monomers used in the polymerisation process to produce a type of Mater-Bi.

MULCHING

An agronomic technique for weed control that consists of covering the soil, with the exception of the area of growth and development of the plant of interest, with an opaque material capable of retaining solar radiation, thus preventing weed growth. The most common mulches are plastic films, bioplastic films, paper films, layers of straw, layers of bark.

OLEAGINOUS

Plant capable of producing and accumulating within itself (e.g. in fruits or seeds) fatty substances, which can be used for food and industrial purposes.

ORGANIC CARBON

Carbon found in those chemical compounds in which it is joined by covalent bonds to atoms of other elements (mainly hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen). This definition excludes the carbon of carbon dioxide, carbonic acid and its salts, such as calcium carbonate.

ORGANIC FRACTION (OF WASTE)

Municipal waste fraction consisting of food and grass clippings or animal waste from domestic or industrial sources.

ORGANIC RECYCLING

Processing the organic waste fraction using microorganisms and under controlled conditions. The treatment can take place under aerobic or anaerobic conditions. In the case of aerobic treatment, the organic fraction of waste is treated in an industrial composting plant with free oxygen, producing biomass (compost), CO2 and H2O. In anaerobic treatment, the organic fraction is degraded in an anaerobic digestion plant in the absence of free oxygen. The process leads to the production of biogas (containing CO2 and CH4 and can be used as biofuel to produce heat and electricity) and a sludge called ‘digestate’. Landfilling cannot be considered as a form of organic recycling

PACKAGING

A product made from materials of any kind, designed to contain and protect certain goods, from raw materials to finished products, to enable their handling and delivery from the producer to the consumer or user, and to ensure their appearance.

POLYESTER

Polymer with ester groups in the main chain. Polyesters can degrade through the mechanism of hydrolysis.

POLYMERISATION

Process of synthesising a polymer through a chemical reaction from its constituent monomers.

PRECAUTIONARY APPROACH

Cautionary approach in handling scientifically uncertain issues, adopted in particular in risk assessment and management.

PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE

See ‘precautionary approach’.

RENEWABLE

This refers to those raw materials (such as starches, oils, cellulose) and energy sources (such as wind, sun, etc.) that are not subject to depletion.

SDGs – SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS

Represent the essential elements of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development signed in 2015 by the governments of the 193 UN member countries.

SORTED RECYCLING WASTE

Separating waste according to their type, i.e. Glass, plastic, paper, compost, metal, dry waste.

STAKEHOLDERS

Entities with whom an organisation has (direct or indirect) relations and who can therefore directly or indirectly influence its activities. These include, for example, customers, suppliers, lenders (banks and shareholders), employees, but also external interest groups, such as residents of areas surrounding the company or local interest groups.

STANDARDS

Usually a formal document that establishes uniform engineering or technical criteria, methods, processes and practices.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs (source: Standard EN 16575).

WASTE MANAGEMENT

Waste management: in urban and industrial contexts, it means the set of technologies and methods for sorting, collecting, delivering and treating waste produced by human, industrial and domestic activities.

MATER-BI è un prodotto

Novamont

Copyright 2023 Novamont S.p.A.

Via G. Fauser 8, 28100 Novara – Italia
Tel. 0321.699.611
P.Iva IT01593330036
Cod.fisc. 08526630150

MATER-BI is a product
Novamont

Copyright 2023 Novamont S.p.A.

Via G. Fauser 8, 28100 Novara – Italia
Tel. 0321.699.611
P.Iva IT01593330036
Cod.fisc. 08526630150